Tribal Healing: The Power of Community-Building in a New Healthcare Framework

Hero Health

Health

Tribal Healing: The Power of Community-Building in a New Healthcare Framework

A sense of belonging can save your life. Studies have shown that over time individuals that have a deep sense of personal relationship and a positive-feedback loop network tend to be happier and live longer. A more social and more fulfilled you will boost your immune system, lift self-esteem, release stress, and positively regulate some of your body’s integral rhythms and systems. Most famously, there is the example of Ikaria. The Greek island was known for its longevity, highly credited to its strong sense of community. Its citizens, most of which live past 90 cite a communal bliss akin to an extended family. The idylic natural setting, slow pace of life and flavorful Greek wines don’t hurt either.

This sense of belonging is currently under attack by modern living, with an illusory sense of community through social media measured through likes and followers. Studies find that this digital connectivity, while bountiful in benefits, is also particularly effective at bringing us down, fostering a sense of missing out and not keeping up with superficial measures of success and personal worth. As a result we are seeing a mental wellness epidemic affecting multiple generations. This sense of loneliness is further exacerbated by the graying of our population.

A reset is taking place as individuals want to regain their sense of selves and the primordial sense of tribal connections they seek for companionship, identity and protection. We are seeing this in the return of slow living, farm-to-table but also in the return to cities and downtowns, and living in more communal settings, including in-coming consumer-led focus on. In a 2d screen world, we seek the power of 3d connectivity.

The need for tribal connectivity has urgently powerful repercussions for the healthcare industry. Healthcare leaders should embrace the power of community-thinking in terms of everything it does. IT should begin by embracing the concept of “it takes a village,” in terms of community outreach, mapping out the issues and circle of trust to gather insights, customize treatment options, and to deliver trust-engendering programs. This is especially important given the demographic rise of groups traditionally skeptical of healthcare providers, including minority groups and the young.

We are seeing powerful examples in companies, both directly in healthcare and its adjacencies. Progressive healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, for instance, is literally investing through its Thriving Communities Fund in the creation of low-income community residential projects. We see this focus on community-building also embraced in a revamped Weight-Watchers’ focus on conversations through its Oprah-penned 2020 Vision tour. We see more future-state manifestations of this in the rise of wellness living, including Orlando’s luxe, boomer-wellness destination Lake Nonna.

As we strive to find the human side in our existence, beginning with our wellness, let’s explore your brand’s power to inspire, nurture and amplify a sense of community, including:

1. What purpose drives your brand’s sense of community? What is the toughest challenge your community is asking of your brand?

2. As your consumer tackles anxiety-heavy topics and issues, what is your brand doing to create a sense of collective possibilities and actions? What role can your consumer play and how do you facilitate it?

3. What can you physically do to generate a better form of wellness through physical gathering, both in an ad-hoc and more formal, structured basis?

4. How are you engaging wellness through a circle of trust that goes beyond the patient?

As we tackle the possibilities and challenges of a new era, individuals are looking for a healthier more collective way to reach it. Now, it’s time to show the world how your brand is truly social by design.


Foraging’s Healing Power

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Health

Foraging’s Healing Power

One can argue that while technology and social media have made our lives richer and more connected, it has also generated a great deal of unnecessary drama impacting our state of mind. We are starting to see the dark underbelly of always being on with higher rates of depression. As a result, getting off the grid is becoming increasingly popular. We see this in the wide spectrum of outdoor activities gaining popularity, from trekking and camping to more extreme forms of getting out there.

Foraging, or the primordial act of searching for goods for sustenance and survival is striking a chord. We see this in the popularity of foraging activities, raw food, extreme off-the-grid living and the rise of culture of unfiltered rawness. There is something in foraging that reminds us of the essence of the human condition, a code for being a certain type of rugged individual that can survive during rough times, and as stated above, as a response to the sensory overload dumped on us by rapacious social media culture.

Foraging hits home because it strikes a unique balance between two things we seek in our modern condition. The first is a sense of agency, destiny and control. We are literally out there in the woods or in our local park looking for stuff, with no one on our backs. This stream ties in beautifully with one of our other modern-day obsessions, which is foodie culture. Through foraging we’re also developing a more immediate relationship with what we eat, instilling a better appreciation of dietary contributions from what we find. The vegan and plant-based movement and foraging strongly overlap. This calming element is balanced with a tougher, more rugged, survivor vibe which speaks to a generation that has embraced extreme sports and more. To be out in nature is to be a winner, and this is something we all want.

Big and small, agile pharma can learn a lot from the foraging movement. It can learn about the hunger to deliver things in a simpler fashion. It can also be reminded about the primordial role of nature in healing, beginning with power botanicals. Pharma can also learn to explore more dynamic ways to enhance the patient journey, including learning activities, instilling a sense of discovery, experimentation that mimic the naturally challenging and soothing effect of being out in the wild. To forage is to ultimately to find something powerfully hidden, and that is the power of self, still in many ways the most powerful catalyst in wellness and wellbeing.


Elevating Reproductive Health

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Elevating Reproductive Health

A new tonality around sexual wellness and reproductive health has been spurred into the mainstream by Millennial moms and inclusive-minded Gen Zers, giving rise to a new mindset around reproductive health. Divisive policies seen throughout the country this year galvanized #metoo leaning women and men to push brands to speak more directly to their concerns. Think of the rapid rise of the feminine hygiene brand Thinx or the men’s brand Hims, specializing in erectile wellness for men. As brands and platforms position self-sex as the new form of self-care, the healthcare industry can become an essential part of this space.

With the global sexual wellness market expected to reach $39 billion by 2024, there is an opportunity to step into the space by offering a tone of inclusive expertise. The feminine hygiene market alone is set to reach $42.7 billion by 2022, and younger women are clearly looking to change longstanding societal perceptions. Medical professionals with a wide range of different areas of expertise have the opportunity to re-engage with consumers through education. The popular podcast Lovelink specializes in content that deals with modern relationships, while Planned Parenthood’s new chatbot Roo is designed to answer the most basic questions about health and sex. More and more, reproductive health, sexual wellness, and relationship guidance are being combined together into one-stop-shops like Allbodies or hubs like LA’s Loom.

As gender-neutral consumers continue to shift away from conventional norms, the growth of medical retail hubs stands to benefit by shifting what were once novelty concerns into over-the-counter health issues. In 2017, there were 2,800 medical clinics in retail spaces in the US, and that number is expected to nearly double by 2022. CVS alone plans to launch 1,500 HealthHUBs in its stores by the end of 2021, putting retailers in a good position to engage in new dialog around sexual wellness.

The Shift: A new demographic of consumers and brands have elevated sexual health into the wellness space, opening up new conversations, platforms, and business models.

The Takeaway: Expected to reach a total $39 billion by 2024, the sexual wellness market is an evolving space and a good investment for HCPs ready to capitalize.

Consider: OBGYNs, sex education professionals, and medical retail hubs should engage by addressing topical problems through digital and D2C formats.


Blockchain: The Rise of Patient Security

Hero Health

Health

Blockchain: The Rise of Patient Security

Digital privacy and data protection has been the concern of the year across all industries, as consumers are waking up to the number of abuses that have occurred from tech giants like Facebook to breaches of sensitive information held by banks and other institutions. Reacting to the need for modernized consumer protection, California is leading the privacy conversation by passing the statewide CCPA — companies holding data on more than 50,000 people will be obligated to comply with the new laws — and stands to set a larger precedent throughout the US. In an election year, we expect the privacy conversation to be front and center throughout 2020.

In the healthcare sector, Blockchain technologies could be key in providing solutions when it comes to patient security. After the breach of LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics earlier this year, where over 26 million patients had their medical records exposed. Blockchain technology could solve this issue and provide a secure and accurate method for patient storage, while also giving patients full ownership of their own records for the first time. Looking to take control of the value in their personal data, this could be a welcome shift for consumers.

For HCPs, Blockchain presents the opportunity for the industry to efficiently process medical data by storing all patient records in one place. The heightened security offered by the technology means records could be easily shared, benefitting hospitals, doctors, patients, and insurers. HCPs could also benefit from blockchain’s traceability, eliminating the possibility of edited, falsified, or simply unknown medical history. The healthcare industry must show they’re leading in next-gen privacy innovation as security concerns mount in the coming 5/6G decade. In the wake of the fake news, institutional distrust, and one breach after another, trust will be difficult to win back.

The Shift: Consumer concern around privacy and data protection has reached a tipping point where action from the largest collectors will be held accountable.

The Takeaway: Blockchain technologies could provide the necessary security and centralization to protect consumer records and allow them to have control of their own data.

Consider: How can you be at the forefront of this technology and serve up with right amount of consumer safety and savings?